And not the internet kind. Finished Ghost Ship, and promptly got ill. So I have spent a week or two as a convalescent, and doing what all good people convalescing from illness do, I made serious progress building the world of Abstrunde in Minecraft.

It’s research, honest 🙂

worldbuilding thoughts

There were a few places in Ghost Ship, that truly didn’t work. They should have, the text took the story exactly where I wanted it to go – but it just didn’t work. I tried walking away from it and work on other parts of the story, to see if that would help me sort it out. Nope. So I tried from a slightly more unusual aspect and built the part of the world I was writing in, in Minecraft. I put all the infodump data, that doesn’t go into the story, into the build and walked my character around the space.

It worked, brilliantly. So now I am simply just going to have to build the rest of Abstrunde, and Nomassaii, as well as Garraloi in Minecraft … right? Yeah, I thought so 🙂

One More Cup of Coffee

One of my favourite Bob Dylan songs, and somewhat appropriate. For while Ghost Ship will take slightly longer than one more cup of coffee, it’s very close to being ready to be sent off to the publisher.

I’ve added a short bio to the website, and also added a Coming Soon for Underground Season Two page. 🙂 Art work is close to being decided for the whole season. One more pass through for feral commas and typos, and it should be good to go.

Because I’ve been fairly lazy about updating the website I found a heap of spam messages waiting my return. They’ve been read and duly consigned to the trash. I will admit, however, to admiring those who must know their messages are never going to see the light of day, and yet still put in eight paragraphs of dodgy links. There’s a certain kind of desperate “Eff you” to that kind of dedication.

damn muse

Trying to get as much writing done as possible on Ep 3, so I can have some down time while the new computer is being built. Of course I’m still thinking about names – although AghaJhar, from the random dragon name generator site, has appeal. It means: Agha – any colour, or metal (metal fits) Jhar: Charm/mystic/spell/wizard (hmm Metal Wizard …) It has appeal, because well, dragons 🙂 Mind you, I might decide the new computer needs a feminine name, and there’s a dragon name generator for that, too. OntrixMarux means Enchanted Lightning. I wonder if bestowing a dragon name on the new computer would make me think twice about cursing it when it misbehaves?

In the middle of all this, and clearing away the research, backing up all the files, etc – I get not only ideas for Season 3 of Underground, but a new short story, and a totally different story altogether. *sighs* All ideas duly noted, character files and plot arcs documented, and added to the general backing up of all files. Turn off now, thanks muse, just for a week or two.


Abandoned Sentinel is with the publisher; Seldi of Legend is just waiting for the art director to finish up the cover, and it’s basically ready to go. Episode 3 is steadily progressing, it has a working title of Ghost Ship Hunting, but I’m pretty sure that won’t be the final title. However the SNC is beginning to struggle to do what I need. It did well in getting me past the crisis when Old Faithful began making death rattle noises. But it’s time to bite the bullet, and get a new computer. Or, well, build a new computer 🙂

I’m trying to think what to name the new computer. (Yes, I name my computers) My new case is going to be a dark silver grey – so Silverback is a potential, as is Titus, or Digit. I have some time to think about it, while I wait for the components to be sent up (hazards of rural living) In the mean time, I have to clear all my research from my desk …

Hmm, maybe I should have started sooner.


snow dragon art

I love dragons, so much so that I am wondering why I didn’t write some dragons into my story. I have some very big* lizards in the series, though I’m a bit away from that part of the story yet, but no dragons.

So I was quite blown away by this dragon, created on snow for a movie. Just amazing in detail, and all done by walking!

* By very big, I do, of course, mean beyond gigantic lizards. Poisonous, meat-eating lizards.

when the writing doesn’t happen …

I read a blog piece by the talented Peter M Ball today, titled Putting on My Red Shoes, and Dancing the Blues. I have gone back to it a couple of times since. Writing is so very important to me, that I get antsy when I don’t write. Over the last two years, basically since before Lost Beginnings was first released, I’ve been very ill and in huge amounts of pain. I kept writing. There are all sorts of people who will tell you trying to write in that mind set is pretty much useless, and you’ll write a fair amount of crap. These people are correct.

But still I kept writing, and this year, between dealing with everything, has been devoted to re-writing. Because while I did get the story down, well … I’ll let Snoopy say it, I think snoopy editing


Ok, so I saw it a while back during all the computer dramas, and forgot to post a link to it, but I am really chuffed with this review of Lost Beginnings. However – ‘the director outside switching scenes and sound stages’ is my brain; how it is written is how I see the story as I’m writing. I guess it shows that I grew up watching Star Trek re-runs. Also – any time someone finds a way to compare any part of my work favourably to Harry Turtledove’s? Yeah, I’m happy 🙂

Boys into Men

I read a description of manhood, as seen through the eyes of a fictional medieval knight once. He watched a child with his wooden training sword pretending to be like the squires, the squires pretending to be like the senior men at arms, and the senior squires listening intently, and pretending to be like the lords that they served. The knight’s line has always stuck in my head: Pretending and pretending, we pretend ourselves into men.

Women do similar, it’s part of how humans learn to be adults, we watch how others do it, and try to mimic. It works, but sometimes it leaves out a lot. Men grow up feeling like they have to always be strong, and going to the doctor when you’re not dying, is seen as being weak.  In reality, going for a general check up on a regular basis, can protect men and keep them healthier for longer, so the pretending they are always strong is counter productive. On this International Men’s Day, I’d like to encourage all the men I know to take care of themselves too.